Depending on where your restaurant is located, you may be required to install a Pollution Control Unit (PCU), or grease exhaust scrubber, in order to meet local building codes and operate a commercial kitchen. These specially designed filtration units remove the grease, smoke and odors generated during the cooking process from the kitchen exhaust air stream, and reduce outdoor air pollution.
Although PCUs are not required in all states and municipalities, many restaurant owners are opting to invest in them anyway. To understand why, we asked Stephen Sickle & Tim Beatty, U.S. Business Development Managers for Kitchen Exhaust Filtration Products at Air Quality Engineering, to explain the benefits.
Although not required by law, many restauranteurs are opting to install pollution control units in their commercial kitchens to prevent grease, smoke and other odors from polluting their neighborhoods and the environment – and it’s also helping their bottom line.
The most common benefit to installing a pollution control unit in your restaurant is to prevent smoke and odors from becoming a nuisance to neighboring tenants. This is particularly true if your restaurant is located in a residential neighborhood, in a building with apartments, or in close proximity to retail establishments.
If your restaurant is located on the ground floor of a multi-story building, using a pollution control unit that vents out the side of the building is much cheaper than running a grease duct to the roof. In fact, it costs approximately $11,000 per floor to run a grease duct to the roof. Plus, the cost of installing duct access on each floor for cleaning.
The longer the length of your grease duct, the more complex the cleaning process, and the higher your mandatory duct cleaning expenses will be. Because a pollution control unit can be side vented, instead of roof vented, and because it captures 95+% of the grease and other contaminants, the PCU’s grease duct downstream is significantly cleaner. Your cleaning company will spend less time and expense cleaning the duct, which means a smaller cleaning bill for you.
If your commercial kitchen exhaust is currently being discharged from the roof, adding a pollution control unit can prevent costly roof repairs. Cooking grease that leaks onto roof decks is extremely corrosive and can be very destructive. It breaks down roofing materials, and can stain the roof and anything nearby.
Restaurant kitchen exhaust contributes to pollution and poor air quality, resulting in respiratory health issues, such as asthma, emphysema, COPD, lung cancer and others. Many cities and businesses are taking a close look at how they can reduce the harmful effects that pollution has on human health, which is why environmentally-concerned restauranteurs are opting for pollution control units to voluntarily reduce their carbon footprint and avoid adding to the overall outdoor air pollution.
With over 45 years in the air purification business, Air Quality Engineering has a reputation for manufacturing high-quality, durable and competitively priced equipment. Our line of pollution control units is no exception.
The SMOKEMASTER® F72 and AUTOCLEAN® units use an electrostatic precipitator technology with very low static pressure add and washable, reusable filters. In addition, our pollution control units have a smaller footprint than our competitors and they are engineered to be more efficient, using much less power, water and detergent than other PCUs on the market.